HOI4 - Dev Diary - June 17th - Patch 1.1 "Red Ball Express"

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Hi everyone and hope you are enjoying Hearts of Iron! The team has been busy working on the 1.1 path that we have decided to name "Red Ball Express" (since we thought it was a cool idea from Stellaris team to use names, we will be doing the same for major patches). The idea is to have the patch out before we go on vacation in July, so expect it one of the last days of June with a open beta patch some days before to make sure it goes smoothly.

I'll be presenting some of the more important stuff we have done so far, but we have of course also fixed minor bugs, optimization, crashes and the like. Next week will have a diary with the full patch log and I'll talk about the other stuff we have done also.

Access to allied territory
One of the biggest talked about issue has been the fact that as long as you fight the same enemy you automatically gain military access, even from other factions. This was kind of a bandaid for an old issue, and we never liked it either... so we have been listening and working on a solution. The way things work now is that you will be requiring military access as expected and the game will also alert you if you end up in a position where you are trying to move into occupied area you don't have access to (as this for democracies would liberate those nations you will need to ask for permissions, which ai will give you). We are still testing our solution, so there might be further changes still.

Peace conferences
We fixed a serious issue where instead of taking turns in a peace deal when there were 2 major contributors it would instead end up so that the 2nd of those gets to push through almost all changes in the peace deal. This could lead to some really weird peace deals. Now you will instead get to take turns (as well as do a little more per turn if you are close in points). Hopefully this should make peaces feel a lot more sane and rewarding.

Invasions and Naval bombers
When it comes to invasions and ease of reinforcing invasions into Germany we have now made Naval Bombers able to attack troop transports (before only fleets could stop them, which isn't a great option for Germany when facing the royal navy obviously), so you only really want to do invasions with sufficient control over the skies. AI has also been tweaked to prefer several larger invasions at once to pose more of a threat to players and bleed less troops in smaller invasions. I've also been looking at general balance around naval bomber and other air war being a bit too bloody, but I'll give you an update on that next week instead because it's not done.

AI
When it comes to further AI improvements, I'll hand over the mic to SteelVolt:

This path we have taken a look at some things in the AI where relatively small effort would give a rather big payoff. A lot of this focus was around mistakes Germany was making, such as building too many dock yards and thus lagging behind in the production of military factories. Another thing we discovered that Germany did was to start using the Austrian division designs after the Anschluss, due to looking at the latest date edited. Both of these have been taken care of, but we have also looked at how to make them not rush the maginot line without making large changes that could break other cases.

Aside from this I have been working on keeping the AI up to date with some rule changes we have made for this patch, such as the "enemy of my enemy access" rule.

I am also very happy to be able to introduce a new feature today. When working on how to improve the warfare AI I realized that it would be very beneficial if there could be different modes of plan execution. While something along these lines had already been discussed, the intention was to have it in a later patch as we expected it to take some time. But as the AI needed at least something basic like this I added three modes, and to test them I added some buttons in the order group interface for it.
As it turned out, it worked so well that we are making the feature available for players as early as patch 1.1!

SS2Aj5L.jpg


The three modes are as follows:
Careful: The units will not attack heavily fortified locations (what counts as heavily fortified is set in defines, so modders can tweak this) and will not attack provinces that has a score below 50 on a scale that goes to 255. This means that if a part of a front has level 6 manned forts, that part will not advance at all unless micromanaged. It also means that they are significantly less likely to push into provinces that would end up very exposed or extending the front line.

Balanced: This is the default mode, and it works exactly as it does already in the game.

Rush: The units will aggressively advance into provinces that are part of the order. This mode is ideal to quickly crush weaker enemies that would be unable to mount a proper counter attack anyway.

I hope you enjoy this new feature. Defines have been added for score limits for the different modes, as well as fort levels for the careful mode. Please note that this only applies to how land battle plans are carried out.
Of course, there are also various minor tweaks here and there

See you next week everyone when I'll talk about other changes in the patch!

Oh, and if you missed the three day war, the multiplayer skirmish featuring Enter Elysium, Quill18, Marbozir and Arumba, then you can check it out here.
 
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I know I'm going to get shot if I comment with "first" also by the time I wrote this, it is probably the third comment.

So....looks awesome, I absolutely love the name. So much immersion!
 
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How about AI and division templates? Is it now going to actually use well balanced templates instead of the pushovers it's been so far?
 
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Daddl

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The number one fix for Germany is to eliminate suicidal war declarations. They shouldn't declare war on absolutely anyone just because they have a war goal for it.
 
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Brawler

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For the love of god please fix the production efficiency retention bug that makes 6 industry techs a penalty before you all head off on leave. Dying to try out the dispersed industry tree for a different style play.
 
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Excellent news.
Other than stopping Germany using the Austrian division template are you also looking at getting the way the AI uses division templates? Currently they are pretty bad at this and any sensible 7 inf + 2 art destroys them.
 
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Denkt

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Have you nerfed the port strike mission?

Do the ai use the battle plan option you have added?
 
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That sounds great, well done @SteelVolt and @podcat :)

Hopefully you guys have been combing thru the bug + suggestion forums!
 

Grand Pope Papa

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Nice. But you still did not tackle other big problems, like air war is too bloody, units on the fron line will use strategic redeployment even if enemy is close and will attack them. And AI does not like to use better units (like those from 1940 for example), it simply does not update its tanks and generaly uses too few tanks. AND suicidal declarations of war. AND Bad AI division templates.

Otherwise nice start :)
 
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For the love of god fix peace treaty. There is no way to get out of a war now unless you are on the losing side. Cant even do a white peace if i offer something in return.
 
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Nice patch coming it seems!

Thanks for the news and SteelVolt, that new feature looks very useful. Good job!
 

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Nice. But you still did not tackle other big problems, like air war is too bloody, units on the fron line will use strategic redeployment even if enemy is close and will attack them. And AI does not like to use better units (like those from 1940 for example), it simply does not update its tanks and generaly uses too few tanks. AND suicidal declarations of war. AND Bad AI division templates.

Otherwise nice start :)

Just wait for the Patch Notes. I guess they only talked about major tweaks here.
 

Tammo-Korsai

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Access to allied territory
One of the biggest talked about issue has been the fact that as long as you fight the same enemy you automatically gain military access, even from other factions. This was kind of a bandaid for an old issue, and we never liked it either... so we have been listening and working on a solution. The way things work now is that you will be requiring military access as expected and the game will also alert you if you end up in a position where you are trying to move into occupied area you don't have access to (as this for democracies would liberate those nations you will need to ask for permissions, which ai will give you). We are still testing our solution, so there might be further changes still.

I am greatly relieved to hear this! :) It is a step in the right direction. I hope the AI is generally not inclined to allow inter-faction access when this feature is added but I am still very happy that the problem is being worked on.
 
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Invasions and Naval bombers
When it comes to invasions and ease of reinforcing invasions into Germany we have now made Naval Bombers able to attack troop transports (before only fleets could stop them, which isn't a great option for Germany when facing the royal navy obviously), so you only really want to do invasions with sufficient control over the skies. AI has also been tweaked to prefer several larger invasions at once to pose more of a threat to players and bleed less troops in smaller invasions. I've also been looking at general balance around naval bomber and other air war being a bit too bloody, but I'll give you an update on that next week instead because it's not done.
This and all the great new features will improve HOI IV greatly
 
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These improvements seem very good! I wonder if anyone is looking at the tendency of adjacent army front-lines to overlap more and more as an invasion progresses? This tends to muck up the AI if the player isn't constantly trimming lines.
 
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